Stepfather gets life sentence for raping 12-year-old

Stepfather gets life sentence for raping 12-year-old

MUMBAI: A 47-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for repeatedly raping and impregnating his stepdaughter when she was 12 years old. Special judge Chanda Nathani of Special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) court on Monday convicted the man exactly two years to the day the matter was reported to the Shivaji Nagar police.

On June 29, 2013, patrolling cops heard a commotion outside the survivor’s house. Neighbours were assaulting the accused after the girl’s mother told them that he had impregnanted the girl. The cops took the accused to the police station, where the girl narrated her ordeal. She added that the accused, who was the only earning member in the family, had threatened to throw her and her mother out of the house if they anyone about the sexual assault. He was then arrested.

The survivor was produced before the child welfare committee as she was pregnant. She was later transferred to Asha Sadan for care and protection. Later that year, she delivered a child.

Eight witnesses, including the survivor, investigating officers and medical officers, testified in court.

The child told the court that the sexual assault had started while she was studying in class VI at a civic school. When she missed her menstrual cycle, she informed her mother who took her to the local medical centre. On learning that she was pregnant, the accused and her mother took her to a clinic for abortion but were informed that due to the girl’s “tender age” and advanced stage of pregnancy, it can’t be done. When relatives and neighbours began to question the mother about the girl’s health, the former finally revealed the complicity of her husband.

A DNA expert, who was one of the witnesses, informed the court that tests proved that the stepfather was the biological father of the newborn. The survivor denied the defence claim that the baby was born after she was in a relationship with a friend. The prosecution argued that the girl had no reason to falsely implicate her stepfather.

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